DAYS OF BEAUTY, RAGE, SADNESS

“Aussie, is that you?”

“Of course, it’s me. Who do you think it is?”

“You’re so beautiful, Aussie!”

“Darn right. Miss America.”

“I’ve had a large cataract in my right eye for so long, who knew? You’re so shimmering black, and just look at those ears. Henry has shiny eyes and such bright, golden skin.”

“Yellow.”

“What, Auss?”

“It’s not golden, it’s yellow. Like him.”

“Look at the way the lamp shines on those white walls. And what about the blanket on my bed with the peacocks? Did you know that that’s an important Persian image for prosperity and good fortune?”

“Persian, like Iran? They’re pure evil.”

“And look at the flowers at the feet of Kwan-yin.”

“They’re dying.”

“Not yet, Aussie, they still have their color.”

“Does cataract surgery help you see better, or does it make you stupid?”

“It’s such a joy to see a world of color and nuance. I can finally see the road signs. Did you know that Montague was established in 1754? That’s what it says on the sign. Could there be a new world out there, Aussie?”

“Nope. Same old killings, same old sicknesses, same old stupid humans. Shelling of Gaza, murder of Israeli civilians, trauma and rage everywhere. There’s nothing new out there, cataract or no cataract. “

“Look at the autumn colors, Aussie.”

“THEY’RE THE COLOR OF DEATH! Don’t you know anything? Fall here is a colorful presentation of death.”

“Why are you so intense, Aussie?”

“I LOVE being intense. When you’re intense your heart pounds, your brain rushes in all directions, everything matters. When you’re intense, you’re alive!”

“Do you ever get depressed, Aussie?”

“Never. I’m too alive to be depressed.”

“You know, Aussie, a senior Hamas official called for a Day of Rage last Friday, when people everywhere should express their rage about the Israeli counter-attack on Gaza. In Europe Jewish schools were closed and more police were out, especially outside synagogues.”

“Did anything happen?”

“Not much last Friday, but you know what I realized? I can get really angry, too. Not like in my earlier years, but anger is still there, and it especially comes up when I’m very sad.”

“I’d rather be angry than depressed any day!”

“It’s hard to be sad, Aussie. When you’re sad you’re just sad. No great energy there, no passion, no craziness, no feeling like you’re ready to fight. You’re just sad.”

“Boring!”

“Not boring. Just sad.”

“It’s like death.”

“Not at all, Auss. It’s just sad.”

“What’s the use of feeling something if there’s nothing you can do? Do do do, that’s what I say.”

“I know, Aussie. It’s hard to just be sad. It’s much easier to get angry, have the illusion you can control things. The day will come—maybe tomorrow, maybe next week or next month—when I’ll have a sense about what, if anything, I can do in that part of the world where the stones are soaked in blood and the twilights are golden. But on the Day of Rage, I was just sad.”

Speaking of being sad: I am very sad about my blog of Saturday, in which I criticized participants in our Friday Zoom for talking so much about a broken heart. I owe all those who spoke, and those who listened, a big apology, which I am making now. I violated my own words above and became like Aussie: Don’t get sad, get angry. Get frustrated, get passionate, get crazy. I couldn’t do what I myself teach again and again: Just shut up and listen. I teach that because that’s what I myself have to learn.

The situation in the Middle East is deep in my bones, in my DNA, so much so that I have felt that maybe I’m the wrong person to gather people to talk and share, I’m too close to it. But I did, mistakes and all, and I am just sorry to have contributed to a space of intolerance and deafness.

Since I still heard that this was valuable for people, I offer this again this coming Thursday, October 19, at 2 pm US Eastern time, 14:00. It’s earlier to accommodate people in Europe and the Middle East. I will do all I can to keep the space as an open refuge for all. You can send me an email (eve@zenpeacemakers.com) if you wish to attend. I will also send an email to all those who participated this past week and notify them.

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